Surrey’s Chelsea Ribeiro (Fraser Valley – Zone 3) and Jemal Reta of Burnaby (Fraser River-Delta – Zone 4) practically ignored the hurdles during the girls and boys 1500 m steeple chase at the 2012 BC Summer Games, jumping over them naturally and effortlessly.
Both athletes placed first in the event, which consists of jumping over four hurdles while completing almost four laps of the track, and just edged the second place finishers at the line in both races to claim gold.
Reta out-kicked Nick Colyn of Langley (Fraser Valley – Zone 3) down the stretch, considered by Reta to be his toughest opponent.
“He (Colyn) beat me a week ago in the 1500 m steeple chase, so I had my eye on him,” said Reta. “The strategy was to maintain his pace, and just give it all at the end.”
Reta beat Colyn by only 14 hundredths of a second, in a time of 4:21.21.
Both Reta and Colyn, along with third place finisher Sean Bergman of Kelowna (Thompson-Okanagan – Zone 2), crushed the former BC Games record of 4:40.07, which was set in 2010.
In the girls division, Ribeiro sprinted past second place finisher Tkia King of Nanaimo (Vancouver Island-Central Coast – Zone 6), completing a personal best time of 5:11.05.
“I knew she (King) was going to pour it on at the end, but she just didn’t have as much left as I did at the end, I guess,” remarked Ribeiro.
(BC Summer Games news service)